Saturday, May 2, 2015

Quepos Farmers Market & Organic Vanilla

We started our morning early and headed to the Quepos Farmers Market...

...all stocked up on papayas, guanabana and passion fruit, we drove out on the gravel road to the Villa Vanilla plantation. There they grow organic and biodynamic vanilla and other spices and even some rather impressive cacao beans. Henry, the owner greeted us. Knowing my keen interest in cacao, he showed us first a small batch of beans they had fermenting in a box.

After chatting chocolate for a bit, we were introduced to Roy, a highschool student who does tours at Villa Vanilla as his "summer job". Roy gave us an overview of vanilla growing, harvesting and fermenting and then showed us how they harvest ceylon cinnamon...

We tasted some of the fresh cinnamon bark - delicious! 

Yesterday was a particularly rainy day (like Vancouver rainy, except warm!), so they had to move their sun drying cinnamon bark and cacao bean indoors on the drying racks. 

Afterwards, Roy took us to see the growing in action. Here they grow all kinds of plants in biodiverse harmony including cinnamon, allspice, cloves, peppercorn, cacao, basil, turmeric, ginger, oregano, starfruit and of course their main crop...

....vanilla beans! 

Hmmm...gooey pecans with Costa Rican vanilla on the menu soon methinks! 

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